Technique conquers all. That’s what everyone feels on their first day of BJJ. There’s no question there. Let’s discuss this a bit further. What exactly distinguishes technique from non-technique? Is it using a predetermined set of moves against an instinctive reaction? Wow. Got it from the first try. But, instinctive reactions will vary from person to person, especially if said person has had some training or experience in grappling.
We’ve compiled some tricks and counters for your benefit:
- Someone grabs an americana from closed guard. Make them pay. Coach has probably told you. Don’t do this from guard. We’ll tell you why. Grab far lat muscle. Butt scoot or hip escape out. Take the back.
- Opponent has your head in their armpit in a headlock. Counter this. You’ve got an underhook by default. Often part of the half-guard series, this is another effective way of taking the back and your opponent unawares. The headlock or kesa-gatame is a pretty good grip, but often easily destabilized. Bridge into your opponent’s back. Once you get the prerequisite destabilization slide your non-underhook elbow behind your hip and use it to elevate yourself onto his back.
- Opponent or attacker wants to stack you. Use this against him. You’ll need the backwards shoulder roll to do this. Use your thighs to lift his armpits or even tricep if you feel it out well. Another thing you can do is go for the armbar. Latch yourself onto an arm. Underhook the leg that’s across from the arm you’re attacking. If he doesn’t react by basing out with a leg, flower sweep them. If he does put his heel up, roll over the shoulder that’s opposite your underhook.
- You’ve caught someone in closed guard. They want none of that. They slide an arm between the knot you’ve got around their hips. Shoot for the triangle. We’ll go ahead and give you a 100% guarantee that if they’ve never felt the triangle noose around their head they’ll circle right into it. At worst, they’ll try to stack you. Just go ahead and roll over your underhook shoulder into a mounted triangle or S-Mount. Kill them with elbows. Not literally, mind you;
- You’re in the bar having a drink. The local tough guy selects you as easy pickings. Stay calm. He’s already thinking he can handle you. It’s a mental thing, and most importantly it qualifies as a self-defense scenario. You want none of the hassle that comes with bar fights: police, injury, losing face etc. You’ve tried pacifying the guy or girl. It doesn’t work. Non-conflict is not an option. Chin down, elbows high, two hands on your face as if nursing a headache, shoot for the clinch. Grab double underhooks. Outside trip him.
- Local tough wants to shoot in on you. Guillotine him. The grappling community is a tight circle. Odds are you’re not going to run in into a grappler with a chip on his shoulder. They shoot in to take you down. Make them pay with the guillotine. Attack the guillotine with your shoulder. Bump the shot with your hip. Sprawl. Lay your shoulder onto his head. Circle round for the guillotine. Trap whatever part of his lower body you want so he can’t circle into side-mount.